5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect cast in a near-perfect show
Another splendid original cast recording from RCA Victor. This was one of their early digital recordings and the sound on the CD could not be bettered. As a bonus, a few short sections of the score that were cut from the show in previews have been restored for the recording.
The whole cast here is as perfect as one could wish for. Joanna Gleason won the Tony for Best...
Published on Jan. 30 2004 by Mark Andrew Lawrence
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money on this one
Once again,Sondheim has churned out another pointless dud.You'll lament in agony as you listen to this ear-splitting music that will give you a migraine after 2 minutes.We had to put up with tacky ragtime,an irritating barber,and other lackluster duds.Now we have a bunch of fairy tales carelessly slapped together.Alright-we get the joke already,Sondheim!No more!The songs...
Published on Feb. 24 2002 by M. L. Smith
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect cast in a near-perfect show,
The whole cast here is as perfect as one could wish for. Joanna Gleason won the Tony for Best Actress, deservedly so. No one has ever sung "Moments in the Woods" as well. Bernadette is wonderful as the Witch...the only recorded Witch to show all the character's colors! Kim Crosby is a fine Cinderella navigating her way through the thicket of lyrics in "On the Steps of the Palace."
Sondheim's lyrics are both playful and thoughtful. (A personal favorite quote: "Oh if life were only moments/Even Now and Then a bad one/But if life were only moments/Then you'd never know you'd had one!") As always much more to think about than your average musical...and therefore the disc stands up to repeated listenings.
The music too, is sometimes simple and lovely ("Children will Listen"; "No One is alone"); sometimes richly dramatic ("Last Midnight", "Lament") and occasionally too clever for its own good ("I know Things Now", "It Takes Two") but always in perfect keeping with the characters and the story. There is a good reason why this score won the 1988 Tony award over Lloyd Webber's PHANTOM OF THE OPERA!
PHANTOM has some lovely melodies, but many dull and boring passages, and the lyrics might as well have came out of an aeresol can! A good Broadway score combines music and lyrics effectively to tell a story ... and that is what the score of INTO THE WOODS does.
There is a video available on VHS and DVD that preserves the original cast in an enjoyable, though somewhat over-the-top performance. The video was taped in the theatre near the end of the show's two year run, while this original cast album was made just 4 days after the show's triumphant premiere. Enjoy both!
Avoid the awful London cast...the cover art is the best thing about that recording. The 2002 revival cast was enjoyable on stage, but the recording fails to capture the fun. Why settle for second best? Stick with the perfect original cast!
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money on this one,
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Sondheim's best!,
By A Customer
INTO THE WOODS weaves together two of the most important things in musical theatre: a wonderful story and beautiful music that relates the story to the actor and audience alike. Bernadette Peters is wonderful in this production as the Witch. No other actress could capture the wickedness of the witch in the first act, but also the vulnerability that she feels after she realizes that she's all alone in the world after Rapunzel leaves. Even though this recording does not include the charming "Our Little World" (which was written for the show after this recording), it is still a wonderful showcase of Mr. Sondheim's masterful work. I recommend it for anyone who is a fan of musical theatre and wants to explore their inner child.
5.0 out of 5 stars Ms. Peters at her best!,
By A Customer
It's truly a show the whole family can enjoy. Children will enjoy the fairy tales woven throughout while adults are able to appreciate the nuances of humor which are abundant. It is definately a new twist to the fairy tales of old.
Joanna Gleason shines just as bright as Ms. Peters with her portrayal of the Baker's wife. Kim Crosby is wonderful as Cinderella. The rest of the cast gave stellar performances. The portrayal of Rapunzel was not quite in the same class as the rest of the cast, but was still good.
There are so many good moments within this cd: "Agony," "It Takes Two," "Moments in the Wood" and my personal favorite "Last Midnight."
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME MUSICAL!!!!!,
5.0 out of 5 stars ~One Of The Most Wonderful Musicals Ever!~,
5.0 out of 5 stars Into the woods, you go again, you have to every now and then,
5.0 out of 5 stars Bernadette Peters Dazzles,
5.0 out of 5 stars "I'm not good, I'm not nice, I'm just right." --The Witch--,
This is one of Sondheim's most accessable musicals: not as harmonically challenging as SUNDAY IN THE PARK... or as attention-to-detail-demanding as the lyrics in A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC. The music is gloriously lush and memorable, these are Sondhiem's most hummable tunes. The plot and characters are funny and endearing.
Basically, this is a massive fairy-tale-for-grown-ups: all your favorite fairy tale characters spend Act I making wishes, getting "through the woods", and basically following the fairly familiar plots your remember from your childhood. Act II is darker as we find out what happens AFTER ever after! Cinderella realizes that maybe life with a prince wasn't what she was wising for after all, Jack (of beanstalk fame) gets a little greedy, Little Red Riding Hood's mom dies and Prince Charming gets a little fickle.
I can't tell you how much this show will win its way into your heart. Its message, which it delivers in the fable-like way of all fairy stories, brings these imaginary characters troubles surprisingly close to home. You will see how wittily Lapine and Sondheim have reminded us to be "careful the wish you make...the spell you cast."
Anyway, this is truly the only version of this show you'll ever want: they got it right the first time, people! First of all, you have the truly showstopping performance of Joanna Gleason as the Baker's Wife and the wonderful Bernadette Peters as the Witch! What more do you want? The whole cast is perfect... Particularly memorable are the Princes and Little Red.
The whole score is nicely organized on one CD (not the spoken dialogue, just the sung bits...which is most of the show anyway). Also included is what is misleadingly called the full libretto, although NONE of the spoken dialogue is included. You can follow along perfectly with the CD however. Some nice photos are included too. For the true entire experience of this original cast's amazing production you should get the video or DVD... the show was filmed for TV! It's wonderfully filmed and if you aren't a DVD fantic, save your money and go VHS; there are NO extras on the DVD at all.
5.0 out of 5 stars When Andrew Lloyd Webber just isn't it,
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